3 Frightening Facts of Being Obese (And What It Means in Plain Language)

by The Health Sciences Academy — Get free science updates here.

Obesity is on the rise.

The term obesity is defined as having a BMI of 30 or over. Being obese will drag the human body, mind and spirit down into an abyss of health issues ranging from daily aches and pains to stroke, disease and death.

A 33-year-long study, published in the Lancet medical journal, found that about 2.1 billion people – 30% of the planet – are overweight or obese.

Appropriately named as the Global Burden of Disease Study, it concluded that 67% of men and 57% of women are either overweight or obese in the UK alone. The stats on obese and overweight children clock in at roughly 27%.

Even many doctors, nurses and medical staff are obese! 700,000 UK medical staff were told to “lose weight for patients’ sake.”

If nurses and doctors are obese themselves, is there any hope?..

The general health horrors of obesity

There are health dangers associated with being overweight and obese. Maybe you have read or heard about them.

They’re packaged into categories like heart disease, diabetes, respiratory problems, cancer, skin infections, sleep apnea and infertility, to name a few of the major ones. Fatty liver disease (non alcoholic), osteoarthritis and psychological/social problems fill another bucket of woes related to being obese.

What about the real life stuff, deep inside those health horrors of obesity? If you are obese or have a client who is literally weighed down with this condition, maybe it’s time to consider what it really means, in plain language.

1. Activities of daily living might become a burden to your body

Activities of daily living (ADLs) are defined as the things we normally do – such as feeding ourselves, bathing, dressing, grooming, work, homemaking, and leisure. They are part of our self-care tasks and fundamental to functioning in the world.

ADLs can also branch out into using the stairs, playing with the kids, walking to the bus stop, shopping, housework, getting dressed, gardening, and just plain moving around in the world.

When you are obese, these daily ‘normal’ activities can be a burden on your body. You are more susceptible to falls, injury and disability.

“Being heavy changes your physical experience of the world,” says researcher Krista Scott-Dixon. It is just harder to move when you have excess weight on your body.

She explains how difficult it can to comprehend the dangerous cycle of inertia that heavy people inhabit if you’ve never had that physical discomfort.

2. You might leak from both ends

A heavy belly and a big body will push foods back up. It’s called gastroesophageal reflux. It’s also known as GERD or heartburn.

This is actually quite common in obese people. Food and stomach acid can wash back up into the oesophagus, causing a burning sensation. That’s leakage going in.

A heavy belly pressing against the bladder presents another concern at the other end involving urination. It’s called urinary incontinence and obese women can have several of these episodes a week. Besides pushing urine out without your consent, it may also make someone more vulnerable to other lower urinary tract symptoms.

3. You’re setting yourself up to possibly die younger

Obesity is killing people early and often.

It is estimated that up to 400,000 deaths a year in the EU are caused by overweight-related illnesses. That is almost the same number of people who die each year from breast cancer.

Coronary artery disease, diabetes and cancer are three of the bigger health risks associated with being obese. Excess weight will invariably erode on the very life supporting systems we depend on daily to function in the world.

These large scale complications can impact one’s future, decreasing the quality and length of life.

In closing (and saving one’s life)

The need to lose weight for an obese person is not for cosmetic reasons. In plain language, it is to save one’s life. The frightening reality of being obese is that every day can be a struggle.

It may not seem like an easy road ahead. Working full-time, family, pressures of time management and general stress can all seem to get in the way of succeeding in a weight loss plan.

Besides physical health problems complicating life, there’s the erosion of self-confidence, self-esteem, willpower and determination. Emotional and mental stress can be another ‘weight’ to bear.

The really good news is that you can do this – on your own or with a weight loss expert. It really is worth turning your ship around to literally save your life.

It has been suggested in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity that if individuals fully internalise weight loss-related behavioural goals, and feel not just competent but also autonomous about reaching them, their efforts are more likely to result in long-lasting behaviour change.

The hardest part may be starting. The best way is to start slow and continue at that pace. Making new healthy lifestyle changes takes time.

Think about the real life stuff  in your life and what really matters. This is well worth a look to turn a really good life around for the better.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments below if you have ever struggled with more weight than you like. And if you know someone who could really use a boost, please share this with them!

The-Health-Sciences-Academy-Alejandra-Ruani-small1-right Alex Ruani, Doctoral Researcher, is the Chief Science Educator at The Health Sciences Academy, where her team of accomplished scientists and PhDs are training a new breed of over 100,000 highly-specialised nutrition professionals who are leveraging the latest personalisation strategies to help their clients. She is a Harvard-trained scientist and UCL Doctoral Researcher who is fanatical about equipping health professionals with the latest science-based tools so they can succeed in their practices – from identifying the unique nutrient needs to building highly personalised nutrition programs. Besides investigating and teaching the latest advances in health and nutrition biochemistry, Alex makes it easier to be smarter with her free email updates.

Did you enjoy this? Sign up to receive our FREE email updates!

See Also

Continuing Education Bundle

Exclusive Webinar

[Nutritionist CPD/CEU] Clinical Weight Loss Strategies to Support Your Clients

“I cannot seem to stop eating once I start…”

“Why am I still so hungry after a big meal?”

“I want to shed weight but lose control around food…”

It can sometimes feel hard to support clients with their weight management efforts if nothing works or they have already tried it all…

Completing this CPD training will equip you with vital knowledge underpinning eating psychology and hunger biochemistry, alongside insights about adequately running clinical weight loss programs that help your clients lose weight effectively and more effortlessly.

Here’s what you will discover in this special CPD Webinar:

  • When self-control is not enough to lose weight – and what to try instead
  • Importance of eating psychology and appetite neurochemistry to help clients overcome overeating
  • Applying the THSA Behaviour Activation Model for a more effortless inhibition of the eating impulse
  • Advantages of becoming an Advanced Clinical Weight Loss Practitioner™ and integrating weight management methods into your work with our Level 5 Certification
  • Personalisation and coaching tools to use when running your own clinical weight loss programs for clients

This webinar is part of the THSA Nutritionist Series and relevant to our Level 7 Clinical Nutrition Program.

Remember you have the option of claiming your smart CPD certificate when you complete this webinar!

Register Now

Free Academic Tour

© Copyright

Everything on this site is original content, created and owned by or through The Health Sciences Academy ® or licensed accordingly.
Training Nutritionists of the Future™
© Copyright The Health Sciences Academy. The content, graphs and charts on this page have been exclusively prepared for The Health Sciences Academy and its prospect students, existing students and graduates. None of the content on this page and website may be reproduced, copied or altered without our explicit permission. Criminal and legal penalties for copyright and other infringement apply. All Terms and Conditions apply.
The Health Sciences Academy® is the world’s largest 100% science-based, nutrition-focused online educational institution.
✔ helping health and wellness professionals grow successful client practices
✔ raising industry standards since 2012 through personalised nutrition science
© Copyright The Health Sciences Academy. The content, graphs and charts on this page have been exclusively prepared for The Health Sciences Academy and its prospect students, existing students and graduates. None of the content on this page and website may be reproduced, copied or altered without our explicit permission. Criminal and legal penalties for copyright and other infringement apply. All Terms and Conditions apply.


Free Courses



About Us

© 2022 The Health Sciences Academy ® All Rights Reserved.

Send this to a friend